September 9, 2016
Dear St. Joseph Catholic School Community,
Thank you again for such a strong start to this new year. Our students have done a great job transitioning back into school mode, and that’s a credit to the support you’ve provided them. This week I had the opportunity to serve as a substitute in some of our middle school classes, and it was a nice opportunity for me to get to know the kids better. We have great kids here at St. Joe’s (I know that’s no secret to you!), and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them better this week.
Coming home today you’ll find two items to which I’d like to draw your attention. We are launching our school’s Annual Fund campaign this weekend, and we’d like to invite your participation. Please read the introduction letter and our pamphlet this weekend. We’re also sending home an income survey that is really important to us in our efforts to access federal funds that are available for our school. There’s more info below in the news section of this email, but I wanted to make sure to mention it in the weekly letter as well so you’re on the lookout for it this weekend.
We had our first fire drill of the year today. These monthly drills help us to practice what we would do in the case of a real fire. During the course of the year, we will also have earthquake and lockdown drills. In the case of a lockdown drill or actual lockdown, we will always notify you the day we experience it so you can be prepared for possible questions and reactions at home. We want to keep you informed so you can best support your children through dialogue about these types of emergency preparations and procedures.
I’ve shared more below in the reminders, but please do be vigilant as drop-off and dismissal. Out of concern for child and family safety when you’re on the St. Joe’s campus, I encourage you to take a “never in a rush” mentality. Our parking lots and start-of-day and end-of-day processes need to be safe for all during these busiest times of the day.
Finally, each week, I strongly encourage you to read this email - the letter, “The Week Ahead”, and the news, updates, and reminders - in its entirety. As you’ll see today, sometimes there will be quite a bit of information to pass along. Though we know it can take a while to get through, we want to capture it all in one place so you don’t have to seek out the information from multiple locations. We continue to work on our communication plan for this school year, so if there’s any feedback you’d like to provide on what would improve the school’s overall communication, please let me know by giving me a call at (360)823-2847 or emailing me here.
We look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday night for our Back to School Night!
Joe Manning, Principal
THE WEEK AHEAD
In-Person VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” Training (required before volunteering at school) - Marian Hall - 9:30 a.m.
Annual Fund Presentation at Saturday Evening Mass
Annual Fund Presentation at Sunday Masses
All School Free Dress (awarded by Mr. Manning for prayer readiness and preparation during the first two weeks of school) - follow the free dress guidelines outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook / students are always welcome to wear their uniforms if they’d prefer
PTO Meeting - St. Dominic/St. Maria Room in Marian Hall - 8:45 am
Back to School Night - 6:30 to 8 pm - Marian Hall & Classrooms
Preschool Picture Day
Regular Wednesday Start Time - 7:55 am
Mass - 8:10 am
Regular Wednesday Dismissal - 2:10 pm
K-8 Picture Day
All School Dressy Free Dress (it’s picture day, so wear something you consider nice and that you’d like to be photographed in - it’s OK if you’d like to wear your uniform) - follow the free dress guidelines outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook
All School Mass - 10 am
Celebration of August & September Birthdays
NEWS, UPDATES, & REMINDERS
Back to School Night coming up Tuesday, Sept. 13
We look forward to seeing you all at Back to School Night on Tuesday, September 13th from 6:30 to 8 pm. We’ll begin in Marian Hall at 6:30 pm. As we all get settled, PTO will be selling spirit wear and our Scrip team will be selling Scrip. Our evening will begin with teacher introductions and opening comments from Fr. Gary Lazzeroni and new principal Joe Manning. Then we will move over to the school for sessions with the teachers that’ll introduce you to important information regarding the year to come. Each classroom/homeroom teacher will offer two of the same sessions - one beginning at 7:05 pm and the second beginning at 7:35 pm. The exception is eighth grade. The eighth grade session, because it’ll contain information about the Washington D.C. trip, graduation, and other eighth grade specific items, will only be offered beginning at 7:35 pm and will extend for 15 to 20 minutes beyond the 8 pm end that all other grades follow. We look forward to sharing with you the plans for our year together!
Complete our income survey to increase St Joe’s eligibility for federal funding
Did you know that we may not be receiving all the federal money that’s available for us at St. Joe’s to help our students reach their fullest potential? The money that local districts allocate to area private schools to support student learning depends on a few different pieces of information, and one of them is the income of the families of the students we serve. We sent home an income survey with each family today, and we ask you to please consider participating so that we can seek out and receive the federal funding that’s available to our school. The form is also available here. Please return the form to your child’s teacher or to the office by Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Apply for free & reduced lunch now
Free & reduced lunch applications for this school year are now available. If your family qualifies and you’d like to apply, please download the application below and return it to the school office. If you’d like a hard copy of the form, please stop by the office to pick one up. For families who have applied in the past, we do need a new application each school year.
Free & Reduced Lunch Parent Letter
Free & Reduced Lunch Income Guidelines
Free & Reduced Lunch Application Instructions
Free & Reduced Lunch Application
Support the St. Joseph Catholic School Annual Fund
This weekend marks the kick-off to this year’s St. Joseph Catholic School Annual Fund campaign. Materials were sent home with each family today. New principal Joe Manning will be speaking at each of the weekend Masses and reflecting on the importance of Catholic education in the lives of those who receive it. We encourage you to attend this weekend to hear some reflections on the important mission being carried out in Catholic schools, and especially here at St. Joe’s.
Picture day coming up on Thursday, Sept. 15
Picture day will be here on Thursday, Sept. 15. Students will be able to wear free dress. If they do, we encourage dressy free dress so they’re looking their best for photos. Order forms will be sent home on Tuesday, Sept. 13. If you’re interested in volunteering during picture day, please contact Anne McDonagh in the office. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important reminders re: drop-off & dismissal
Though we know that sometimes families are in a rush at the beginnings and ends of day, we request that everyone slows down and takes a “never in a rush” mentality when driving on the St. Joseph campus. Please follow our driving expectations as outlined in the map shared at the beginning of the year and in our Parent-Student Handbook. During the busiest times, please be patient with each other and be careful and vigilant. We have many students and parents walking to and from cars, and we want to be sure that we keep the morning and afternoon safe. Please remember that all students and parents should enter through our back doors, with the exception of families who have paid for auction spots or those who are walkers who live across the street from the school or come from the west on Highland Drive. These families should enter at the front doors of the school. During dismissal, we also ask that families and students not enter or exit the school campus through car entrances or exits roads. Instead, please use the pedestrian gate at the back of the school.
Wednesday morning Mass arrival and tardies
Remember that our school day begins at 7:55 am each Wednesday. After teachers take attendance at 7:55, they head straight to the Mass. Any student arriving after 7:55 am will be considered tardy. On Wednesdays only, the tardy drop off until 8:10 am is at the back of the school (all other days students arriving late should be taken immediately to the front office since our back doors close as soon as the day begins). On these Wednesdays, PE teacher Patty Jayne will write late-arriving students a tardy slip, the students will wait with her, and then our specialist teachers will get each child to Mass. Students arriving after 8:10 am should check in at the front office. Please do your best to have your child to school each day as late arrivals have a significant impact on the day for both your child and for others.
Monthly Prayer Services scheduled for the year - join us for our first one
Parents are always welcome to attend our monthly prayer services. Our first monthly prayer service will be on Monday, September 19th at 8:40 am. Each month, a different grade level plans and leads the prayer service.
Honors Assembly for Grades 7 & 8 from last year’s final trimester
We will recognize our middle school students who received honors at the end of the final trimester of 2015-2016 immediately following our prayer service on Monday, September 19th. We invite parents who are able to attend to join us to celebrate the strong work of our students.
Parent Auction Donation obligation deadline is October 1st
Please note that the deadline for your parent obligation of a new product valued at $75 or a check/cash payment for $75 is due no later than October 1st. After October 1st the obligation increases to $150 cash or check only per your school contract. If you have any questions, please call Peggy DiPrima at 360-696-2586, ext 1261.
Northwest Catholic Student Essay Contest open to students in Grades K-12
Northwest Catholic is holding its fourth annual student essay contest, open to the following age grade levels: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Students will respond the question “Has God ever made you stop and say “Wow”? Essays are due on October 13th. See this flier for more information.
First PTO meeting of the year on Tuesday, Sept. 13
Join us for the first PTO meeting of the school year on Tuesday, September 13th at 8:45 am in the St. Dominic/St. Maria rooms of Marian Hall. Younger siblings are welcome. We look forward to a good start to our PTO year!
Family Sock Hop to be held on Friday, Sept. 23
Mark your calendars for the Sock Hop on Friday, September 23rd! This is a fun, family event hosted by PTO. The event will be in Marian Hall from 6 to 8 pm. There will also be a pep rally at school that day. Kids can dress up in 50’s style so start shopping for poodle skirts and T-birds attire! Volunteer Sign Up – Here is the link if you would like to sign up to help before, during and after the Sock Hop: http://signup.com/go/nVXPrJ. More information to come next week!
School directory coming soon - let us know of changes or opt-outs
We will soon be compiling our annual school directory. If you have moved or have new contact information, please email Sheri Keller in the office so that we will have the most up-to-date information to pass along. Her email is email@example.com. If you do not wish to be in the school directory please email Sheri with your request.
Recess volunteers needed for the year
Beginning this year, we will be putting into place a schoolwide volunteering opportunity for parents to assist at our lunch recesses. If you are free for the entire block of time between 11:05 am and 12:30 pm at least a few days a month and are interested in helping to be an extra set of eyes and ears at recess times, please let us know by emailing Anna Raineri, vice principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Recess volunteer trainings will be provided later in September. More details to come next week.
Follow St. Joseph Catholic School on facebook
If you’re not yet following St. Joe’s on facebook, we encourage you to join us there! We look forward to seeing you online. Visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stjoevanschool/.
Follow St. Joseph Catholic School PTO on facebook, too
Our PTO facebook site is a restricted site. If you would like to become a member of the PTO facebook page, please send PTO president Laura Ashton an email from your email account associated with facebook to email@example.com.